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adjective rug·ged \ˈrə-gəd\

Simple Definition of rugged

  • : having a rough, uneven surface

  • of a man's face : having rough but attractive features

  • : strong and determined

Full Definition of rugged

  1. 1 obsolete :  shaggy, hairy

  2. 2 :  having a rough uneven surface :  jagged <rugged mountains>

  3. 3 :  turbulent, stormy <rugged weather>

  4. 4 a :  seamed with wrinkles and furrows :  weathered —used of a human face b :  showing facial signs of strength <rugged good looks>

  5. 5 a :  austere, stern b :  coarse, rude c :  rough and strong in character

  6. 6 a :  presenting a severe test of ability, stamina, or resolution b :  strongly built or constituted :  robust <those that survive are stalwart, rugged men — L. D. Stamp>

rug·ged·ly adverb
rug·ged·ness noun

Examples of rugged

  1. the rugged surface of the moon

  2. She did a painting of the region's rugged coastline.

  3. People are attracted to his rugged good looks.

  4. I admire her rugged individualism.

Origin of rugged

Middle English, from Middle English *rug

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of rugged

rough, harsh, uneven, rugged, scabrous mean not smooth or even. rough implies points, bristles, ridges, or projections on the surface <a rough wooden board>. harsh implies a surface or texture distinctly unpleasant to the touch <a harsh fabric that chafes the skin>. uneven implies a lack of uniformity in height, breadth, or quality <an old house with uneven floors>. rugged implies irregularity or roughness of land surface and connotes difficulty of travel <a rugged landscape>. scabrous implies scaliness or prickliness of surface <a scabrous leaf>.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up rugged? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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